Xysticus cristatus (Clerck, 1757)

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Look for the description of the species at the bottom of the page.

Description of Xysticus cristatus (Wandering crab spider)

Physical Characteristics

Strongly resembles Xysticus audax and Xysticus lanio. The triangular spot on the carapace which is longer and more pointed than in Xysticus audax.

Female 4.5 to 8 mm. Variable in colour.
Abdomen yellow-brown to reddish brown with a outlined leaf-like pattern.
Carapace dark reddish brown to grey-brown with a broad light median band containing a darker triangular spot with a black tip which reaches to almost the rear of the carapace and two dark spots at the rear next to the median band.
Legs light brown to almost black with light stripes and annulations. In case of light-coloured legs the light stripes are dark outlined.
Palps yellow-brown to dark brown.

Male 3 tot 6 mm. Less variable in colour than the female.
Abdomen dark brown to black with white-yellow outline and yellow-white bands on top, which create a leaf-like pattern.
Carapace black brown with a broad yellow brown median band which reaches as far as the anterior eyes and contains a darker triangular spot that reaches to almost the rear of the carapace and a thin yellow band along the edge.
Legs yellow-brown with black-brown spots. First two pairs of legs from the top to halfway the tibiae black-brown with yellow annulations and thickened. Yellow-brown below.
Palps black-brown with yellow annulations.


On the ground and in low vegetation.


Common in the whole of Europe.


Spring and summer.